Banksy Sets, Or Maybe Starts, A Work Of Art During A Band’s Set At The Glastonbury Festival

By Tom McArthurBBC News

grey placeholderX/@LLiamJL The inflatable raft carrying dummies dressed as migrants 'crowdsurfing' during the Idles gig at Glastonbury Festival.X/@LLiamJL

Banksy has appeared to confirm he was behind a stunt during a band’s headline set at the Glastonbury Festival – involving an inflatable raft holding dummies of migrants in lifejackets.

The boat was lifted above the heads of the thousands-strong audience during Idles’ show on the Other Stage, with revellers believing the crowdsurfing was part of the Friday night performance.

The mysterious artist posted a clip of the stunt – thought to symbolise small boat crossings of migrants in the Channel – on his Instagram account, his usual way of announcing a new creation.

But a spokesperson for the British punk band told the Guardian that they were not aware of the stunt until after the gig had finished.

Idles’ set closed the Other stage on Friday night, after performances from Bombay Bicycle Club, Anne-Marie, and Headie One.

As the raft bobbed its way across the many thousands at the Other stage, the band played the song Danny Nedelko, which features lyrics that strongly condemn right-wing immigration policies and call for togetherness and compassion.

At a festival Q&A event on Saturday, the actor Simon Pegg called Idles’ set “literally one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen at Glastonbury”.

Banksy’s and Idles’ management has been contacted by the BBC for comment.

grey placeholderStormzy performing during Glastonbury Festival in 2019.

Wearing the Banksy-designed vest, Stormzy used his 2019 set to highlight inequality in the justice system, and the arts.

Migration is a key theme at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, with a new area in Williams Green being the focal point. To enter the “re-purposed airport” Terminal 1 “celebrating migration”, people have to answer a question from the UK government’s citizenship test correctly.

Terminal 1’s lineup includes global artists including Bristol’s St Paul’s Carnival, London’s Notting Hill Carnival, Love Watts and Yoshi Sodeoka.

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